1913 Elm Street,
1913 Elm Street,Dallas, TX 75201
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Grand opening ad posted.
Melba postcard added that appropriated the artwork from the original Hope postcard. Link to the latter in description of teh former.
I Thought I remember putting a comment.I did not notice it here, well. I Remeber going to Dallas from Texarkana Texas to see my first Cinerama film at the Cari,“ How the west was won. Later on, when we went back to Dallas to take the plane to visit our Mexican relatives, we were going to see the Greatest Story ever told, but, we did not have any time.I was disappointed cause I wanted to see the Capri again.
Capri in 1970 at 1:09 in the video.
Linkrot re-repair: The May 9, 1960, Boxoffice article about the reopening of the former Melba Theatre as the Capri is now at this link.
My twin brother and I played the Wurlitzer organ at the Capri after it was restored by members of the local American Theater Organ Society. I don’t remember the exact year, but it must have been 1959-1960 ish. We were students at SMU, helped with the restoration efforts which would start after the last showing and go well into the early morning hours. Once the organ was playable, we would play between showings. I understand that one reason the organ survived the fate of many is that the Cinerama screen covered it up, and very few people knew it was there. Bill Thompson
Bryan’s intro on this theatre contains an error: it incorrectly states that Interstate took over this theatre and renamed it Melba; Loew’s was the second owner, taking over in 1922 from First National Pictures and their financial backer from Houston, Jesse Jones, whose mistress – First National Pictures star Hope Hampton, Jones named the theatre for. Loew’s renamed it Melba. Interstate assumed the lease in about 1939 or ‘40.
1955 photo added, photo credit R.C. Hickman, courtesy of the Dolph Briscoe Center for American History
The July, 1922, of a trade journal called The Poster, touting itself as “The National Journal of Poster Advertising and Poster Art” ran a half-page article about the use of poster advertising by new Hope Theatre in Dallas, which it said had opened on the evening of April 26. There is also a photo of the theater’s entrance (scan at Google Books.)
According to the June 3, 1922, issue of Exhibitors Trade Review a novel feature of the Hope Theatre was the inclusion of a hostess on its staff. Her function was apparently to promote the theater to the women of various clubs and civic groups. The article includes a photo of a group of women meeting in what is presumably the theater’s lounge (scan at Internet Archive.)
December 25th, 1959 grand opening ad also in photo section.
As this house was called the Capri Theatre for more than a decade, from 1960 until its closing in the 1970s, isn’t that how it should be listed? Almost nobody under 60 is likely to remember it as the Melba.
1926 and 1970 grand opening ads in the photo section for this cinema.
Can anyone comment on when the Melba vertical sign came down? It was still up as late as 1942.
I remember this as the Capri in the early 70s as a kid. Of the classic theaters that used to line Elm Street, only it, the Majestic, the Tower, the Palace, and the Loews remained. Don’t remember seeing anything at the Palace.
The Capri was billed as “The world’s largest theater complex.” Of course, in the early 70s, a 7 screen theater wasn’t common.
I saw a lot of movies, there… Jaws, lots of Bruce Lee films, Godzilla movies… Hey, I was a KID.
In the hall leading to screens 4 – 7, there was a display of classic movie stars, W. C. Fields and the like, sitting in a cafe.
One by one, they closed, the Capri and Loews surviving the longest, though the Majestic was revived. Even as a kid, I preferred the classic movie theaters to the then trendy shoe box style theaters. It just didn’t feel like a real movie theater without the big marquee.
Here is an updated link to the May 9, 1960, Boxoffice article about the newly renovated Capri Theatre, formerly the Melba.
From 1946 a movie for Duel in the Sunfeatured at the Melba.
Any photos of the Loews Melba?
Photographs of the Melba Theater from the Dallas Public Library’s Dallas/Texas History collection:
Photographs of the Capri Theater from the Dallas Public Library’s Dallas/Texas History collection:
Here is an article about the reopening of the Melba as the Capri in Boxoffice of May 9, 1960. There are two small photos. This article doesn’t give the date the house had reopened, but an April 18 Boxoffice item had said that the conversion had taken place that winter, and that as part of the project the Capri had been equipped for 70mm projection.
The Melba had ended its four-year run as a Cinerama house in 1958, when Tans-Texas Theatres renovated and reopened it as a first-run house. Boxoffice of June 8 that year said the first feature shown was William Castle’s “Macabre.”
Finally, I got in to comment… Anyway, to Jeanette’s info about the Early Birds; the organist at the Early Birds radio show was Bert Noyd. My father, Norvell Slater, was announcer, straight man & sang a hymn on the show. He played piano & sang on other programs as well as pioneered the longest running hymn program on radio. Those early days must have been fabulous with the big band, which I remember as a kid. Just out of this world.
Saw many films at the Melba, but my days only go back as far as when it was named Capri.
First film I remember seeing here was “The Alamo” in it’s reserved seat Todd A-O run; then “King of Kings” after it had ended it’s reserved seat 70mm run at the Tower next door; then “How The West Was Won” in Cinerama; then a re-issue of “Bridge On The River Kwai” in Cinemascope, but projected on the huge Cinerama screen without the masking being pulled back down for regular 2.35:1 widescreen; then a reissue of “The Longest Day” followed by “2001: A Space Odyssey.”
When McClendon tripled this theatre in 1970, the balcony was twinned and the downstairs theatre later installed a silver screen to show 3-D. By catering to a black audience, this theatre was a huge success in the early ‘70’s but declined in later years. Because of the early success, they added 4 more screens in the basement of the adjoining McClendon building to make it a 7-screener. When you entered either of the upstairs balconey theatres, in the outer corner of the rear of each one you could see an original 3-strip Cinerama booth.
I THINK that is the Melba to the left of the Majestic in this image from ‘77:
A view from 1950 of the Melba Theater in Dallas, Texas.
Another old movie theater ad from 1949 for the Melba Theatre in Dallas.